If you haven’t stashed one of these best eyeshadows in your makeup bag, then you might be familiar with this scenario: You start your day with perfectly made-up eyes. Your lashes are long and lifted, your cat-eye wings are as symmetrical as they’ll ever be and your eyeshadow is blended so skillfully that you wish you could give yourself a high five. But a few hours later, you glance in the bathroom mirror to find a pair of shockingly faded, creased eyelids. What was a makeup masterpiece this morning is now a hot mess. We’ve all been there.
The solution? These 12 best eyeshadows. Our readers report that these face-saving products survive the 9-to-5 grind with flying colors. The best part? The No. 1 pick is under $10. Thank the makeup gods and get yourself ready for 12 glorious game-changers.
Best Eyeshadow No. 12: Stila Eye Shadow Trio, $28
Why it’s great: Reviewers adore these trios of “lush, dramatic, attention-drawing shades,” which can be used wet or dry. “Coverage is great and wear is nearly endless,” one reader raves. Each color “glides on nice and smooth [and] doesn’t fade, morph or leave creases.” Reviewers agree that this product is “definitely worth the price.”
Best Eyeshadow No. 11: Maybelline New York Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow, $6.99
Why it’s great: Readers adore these long-lasting eye shadows, which have “a creamy gel texture that is easy to work with.” The consistency is smooth, silky and dries “very quickly after application.” One reader was amazed to find “no creasing or caking whatsoever” after 18 hours of wear. Favorite shades include Edgy Emerald and Bad to the Bronze.
Best Eyeshadow No. 10: M.A.C. Eye Shadow, $16
Why it’s great: Users rave that this eye shadow has good pigmentation, doesn’t crease and lasts all day. “M.A.C. eye shadows are my favorite,” says one reader. “I love the wide palette of colors — they have colors available that I haven’t even dreamed of!” Besides the wide selection of colors, users say they also love how well the eye shadow blends. “This eye shadow is the best of the best,” gushes one reader. “Whenever I want to feel glam and sexy, I reach right for my M.A.C. eye shadow. The color options are fantastic and there is no need for a primer, as the eye shadow does not sink into creases. Plus, they last forever!”
Best Eyeshadow No. 9: Wet n Wild Color Icon Single Eyeshadow, $.99
Why it’s great: “I am very impressed with the pigment of these eye shadows,” one reader gushes. “You don’t need to use a lot to get the color impact that you want.” Another reviewer adds that the shadow works well as a powder liner. Better yet, “the shadow doesn’t crease or budge.” At less than $1 a pop, this product is “a total steal.”
Best Eyeshadow No. 8: Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow, $10
Why it’s great: “The colors are vibrant and high pigmented, and this eyeshadow lasts for a long time,” says one reader. “It brushes on smoothly and it doesn’t flake all over your skin.” Other reviewers are in love with the wide selection of color choices this “high quality eyeshadow” offers, as well as the $10 price tag. “The best part about this product is it doesn’t break the bank, but you still get that luxurious, fabulous look that you would get if you did buy a more expensive brand,” gushes one user.
Best Eyeshadow No. 7: Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Eye Colour, $24
Why it’s great: “In crème shadow land, this is the queen bee,” says one reader. “It’s a gorgeous mauve/taupe cream shadow that doesn’t crease.” Other users say the shadow’s high price is worth it, saying “it may be an expensive little tube, but I doubt you would run out in a year.” Others say you can even skip the eye shadow primer and the eye shadow won’t crease. “A small dot of this stuff goes a long way,” says one reader. “The colors are beautiful and it lasts all day until you remove it.”
Best Eyeshadow No. 6: Physicians Formula Matte Collection Quad Eye Shadow, $7.25
Why it’s great: Users say they love the saturated color and smooth feel of this eye shadow. “I like the natural colors, and they are easy to blend,” says one user. “When I was 18, this was my first eye shadow and I’m STILL using it.”
Other reviewers recommend this product if you suffer from oily eyelids, explaining that this is a long-lasting eye shadow. “I had no problems with creasing or fading, even when I didn’t use a primer,” says one user. “The shadow is a silky texture and is easily applied, just use a brush not the crappy applicators they come with.”
Best Eyeshadow No. 5: Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadow, $19
Why it’s great: Readers adore these highly pigmented matte eye shadows for their smooth application and staying power. “They blend well, are buildable and last even without a primer,” one reader describes. Another comments that the formula is “not chalky like many matte shadows.” Reviewers give kudos for the extensive selection of “unique and vibrant” shades.
Best Eyeshadow No. 4: Laura Mercier Eye Colour Matte, $23
Why it’s great: “These little shadows won’t crease, migrate or wear off before you take them off,” one satisfied reviewer explains. Readers find that the shadows are effortless to apply, ultra-blendable and nicely pigmented. The product comes in “a great color selection, with the most wearable shades.” Readers suggest that the darker hues can double as eyeliner. Reviewers agree that these Laura Mercier shadows “are well worth the high price tag.”
Best Eyeshadow No. 3: It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Eyeshadow Trio, $24
Why it’s great: According to readers, these trios offer classic, long-lasting neutrals that give eyes a flattering sparkle. “My entire face looks different, thanks to this product. [It] just makes my eyes light up!” one user raves. Readers find that the “perfectly matched color combinations” are “lush, finely milled and oh-so-blendable.”
Best Eyeshadow No. 2: Jane Iredale PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple, $28
Why it’s great: Readers love this product for its smooth, creamy and gentle application. The colors are “vibrant enough to go from day to evening.” One delighted reviewer explains, “I love this product because even though it’s natural, it also has beautiful depth of color.” Plus, the package itself is ultracompact.
Best Eyeshadow No. 1: M.A.C. Mineralize Eye Shadow (Duo), $22
Why it’s great: “I happen to be a big fan of M.A.C.’s mineralized products,” gushes one reader. “I find that they are gorgeous, highly pigmented, and that they go on SO smoothly!” Other users say the eyeshadow lasts all day and fits nicely with almost all skin tones — as they have a wide array of colors. “I love how the color catches the light and has sort of a luminous pearlized quality to it,” says one reader. “All of the colors are so beautiful!”